Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Political Will and Testament (cough!) of a Zionist Settler from Ma’ale Adumim

From here.

Daniel Marks is a British-born Jew who left these here shores when he was 18 (he’s about 50 now) to make Aliyah for reasons of religious conviction:

I’m often asked by visiting journalists, politicians and academics as to what my solution is. I reject “the Two State Solution” and I’m not prepared for Israel to stop being a Jewish state. I wish neither to give citizenship to all Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, nor to expel them. I’m great at saying, “No” but rarely say “Yes”. What is my solution? How will I bring about peace and prosperity to all peoples of the Middle East in our lifetimes?


One might think that the realization that not every problem has a solution or in the words of Johnny Cash, “There are more questions than answers” would lead to a state of desolation or despondency, but quite the contrary. That is exactly the point where you life goes off being on hold and you begin to live again. Maybe you’ll never run again, but there are plenty of places to walk to. Maybe you’ll be forever falling over, but you’ll be forever getting up too. And there are children to reprimand and grandchildren to enjoy and there is a G-d in heaven to serve too, who waits for the prayers of the sick as he does for the healthy.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman recently spoke about the peace process and predicted that there would be no peace, “not next year and not for the next generation”. On the face of it this was a message of pessimism and gloom, hardly appropriate for the eve of our Jewish new year when we traditionally wish each other the realization of all manner of wonderful aspirations. However, I contend that Lieberman’s blessing was the blessing of hope. He was taking a cold realistic look at the neighborhood in which we live and at our neighbors. He had the courage pragmatically to look at the Arab world for what it is, not what it might be one day or what we’d like it to be.

As I said we live in the Middle East, not the US Mid-West or even the West End. Our neighbors, for the most part, are vastly more radical than either their fathers or grandfathers were. This has come about as a result of the spread of fundamentalist Islam and because Israel has shown weaknesses on various occasions, convincing them that the only language we understand is force.

Short of the Messiah arriving, there will indeed be no peace in either our or our children’s generation. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing us today is to learn to live with the fact that this is indeed a problem without a solution.

Of course everyone has a plan, but experience has shown that all attempts over the last four decades to solve the problem either by means of war or by means of force have brought about caused a deterioration rather than improvement.

Naturally, that is not to say that there is nothing to be done, quite the contrary. Once one has come to the realization that there are no miracle cures or quick fixes, one ceases to be paralyzed in other areas of life. One’s life is no longer on hold, waiting for a solution, one can begin to live. Paradoxically, the realization that there is no solution becomes something of a solution in and of itself.

It is only the true optimist who can find life, hope and happiness in a world with many unsolved questions, problems that he knows are here to stay.

So we redecorate our houses without asking whether it will one day be given to another, we plant a tree and look forward to its fruits. We bring children into the world knowing that they too will one day don uniform. We drink wine from a local Judean vineyard read a good book or maybe write one, carry on studying our beloved Torah knowing we’ll never finish it. We teach our students to respect everyone friend and enemy alike, but secretly hope that they’ll respect at least us. We look at the old yellowing pictures in our albums of ancestors long gone, who could only have dreamt of waking up to the view of Jerusalem. We thank G-d for being the luckiest generation of Jews since the time of King David and three times a day we pray for peace too.

With broken hearts we pray to our Maker that he might send us a year of peace, acknowledging that nobody else can.


At 5:11 AM, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

Peace is one step closer, with people in the streets in Egypt, fighting for jobs and democracy.

I heard in Gaza, there is going to be a solidarity demo with Egyptians.

There is no national solution to this problem.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Personally I think it could be the end of Israel as we know it. With the US now a spent force in the ME, surely Israel’s decline must now follow.

I wonder even if we brought Israel to it’s knees by means of BDS (which will now strengthen too…) that it will be willing to make these… erm… ‘concessions’, now the US will not be able to influence anything anymore…

The Ziobot blogs are now eerily quiet about the situation. They’re thinking what I’m thinking but daren’t articulate…

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

The end of Israel? The situation in Egypt may create more pressure on us, and may make the security situation worse for us, but it doesn't threaten our existence.

I don't know which so-called "Ziobots" you follow. The situation in Egypt and how it affects Israel seems to be the number one topic on the Israeli blogs I've been reading.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Gert said...


How will Israel react if the US is forced to be a real ‘honest broker’ and ‘concessions’ start being demanded? The EU will then follow suit immediately and BDS will strengthen enormously. Latin America is already with us. If Israel reacts favourably, all could still be well. But if it doesn’t, expect a period of serious decline: to become a true pariah in ‘the dangerous neighbourhood’ is unsustainable for very long. In that scenario I predict serious drops in Alyah numbers, Israeli Jews pulling out, walls falling and the house of cards come crashing down.

Regards Israel’s security, I don’t believe it is seriously at stake here: it has enough deterrent power. I can’t see any Arab/Muslim actor wanting the unenviable role of Last Genocidaire of the Jews either…

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

The things you describe were serious concerns even before the events in Egypt. Netanyahu's policies are sending Israel in the wrong direction, but not quite to its demise. Besides, Likud won't be in power forever. When a more pro-peace government is elected, the tides will change.

"Regards Israel’s security, I don’t believe it is seriously at stake here: it has enough deterrent power. I can’t see any Arab/Muslim actor wanting the unenviable role of Last Genocidaire of the Jews either…"

You make it sound like there are only two options: either Israel is totally secure or it is totally annihilated. It isn't binary, it's a spectrum. Israel can be less secure (i.e. living with frequent rocket attacks, or having the occasional war with one of our neighbors) without being wiped out .

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Well, I didn’t mean to sound dualistic. There’s indeed a whole range of possibilities, quite unpredictable. But the force of habit makes me feel that ‘Dear Leader’ wouldn’t respond well to pressure…

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

You're right about Netanyahu not responding well to pressure, but he won't be prime minister forever.

By the way: "Dear Leader"? Really? I'm no fan of Netanyahu, but comparing him to Kim Jong-il (or Israel to North Korea) is quite a stretch.

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Gert said...

These are very stretchy times, Emm...


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